(Las Vegas, KXNT)- Tax season brings tax scammers and Southern Nevada is already seeing its fair share.
The IRS tells KXNT phone scams have ramped up in recent weeks. Alleged scammers are calling people’s homes and demanding payment on an outstanding obligation.
Las Vegas resident Stella received one of these calls.
“He called my home phone and said he was from the bureau of internal revenue service. When he said the name wrong, I knew something was wrong right away, ” said Stella.
The alleged criminal tried to set up an audit with the Las Vegas resident, but failed to give his employee badge number when asked. Thankfully, Stella and her husband did not give out any personal information.
IRS Spokesperson Raphael Tulino says in the last couple of weeks, they have seen more calls originate from California, specifically the Bay Area. Tulino says the caller will demand payment via wire transfer or prepaid debit card. If the potential victim refuses to pay, the caller can get hostile. In several cases, they have been known to threaten arrest, deportation, loss of business or loss of driver’s license.
“If you have an obligation with the agency, our first contact normally is letter in the mail and if you don’t respond to the letters in the mail then, down the road, we may reach out via phone, but we are certainly not contacting you out of the blue and demanding you pay your taxes a certain way, ” said Tulino.
According to the IRS, the callers who commit this fraud:
- Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers
- Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number
- Make caller ID appear as if IRS is calling
- Send bogus IRS emails to support their scam
- Call a second time claiming to be the police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim
If you have received one of these calls and do not owe taxes, you are urged to call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.
If you do owe taxes and have received a call, you are asked to call 1-800-829-1040.